Marseille Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and basilica minor located in the Old-Port of Marseilles and a national monument of France. Far from being just a run-of-the-mill church, it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Marseille and the hobbyhorse of Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who laid the first stone of the new building in 1852. The foundations, commonly referred to as the Old Major, date back to the 12th century and correspond to a sober Romanesque style. Only the choir and one bay of the nave persist today, as a new, more opulent cathedral was built next to the remains in 1852. The new Marseilles Cathedral was built on a gigantic scale in the Byzantine-Roman style from 1852 to 1896.
Despite its isolated location on the far end of Panier district and along the busy commercial port, this cathedral should not be missed as it is still today the only one of its kind in all of France, and doesn’t fail to impress with its sheer size and extravagant architecture. Its iconic green and black stones form an instantly recognizable stripe pattern, flanked by two bell towers and a dramatic entrance.